Kamo, Kyoto, Japan.
Naturally produced Gyokuro.
May 21, 2022.
Shaded for 21 days.
The only artificial means the producer uses is black cheesecloth used to cover the bushes for approximately 20 days before harvest to suppress bitterness and enhance the inherent sweetness, and fragrance of the tea as is customary with the production of Gyokuro.
Since the producer believes in a natural approach, he also refrains from filtering and processing his finished product too much, and wishes to deliver an all encompassing impression of the agricultural product he has created through the final product he has manufactured. The light-green shiny twigs and soft, thick ‘hair-‘like stem and leaf-vein parts that complement the tea’s dark shiny green gyokuro leaf is indicative of this conviction.
Deriving from this appearance, I like to call this tea a ‘Wild Gyokuro‘, a term I find better suitable to describe the qualities of this tea. And it is this leaf that produces this tea’s vibrant light-green liquor that isn’t absolutely cloudy, but rather faintly unclear due to the many small particles floating around in the brew.
The brew has a thick, sweet flavor with a sufficient tone of the ‘oika‘ (or scent induced by covering) as is desirable for Gyokuro, with a faint spinachy green undertone and a green forest and spring flowers in the lingering aroma.
About the manufacturer
Born in 1983. Grew up in a tea farmer family. Having suffered under conventional farming methods, he resolved to return to an absolute organic and natural approach. “Let tea be tea; let people be people.” It is in the same way that he aims to raise his two children.
About the tea garden
The Gokō cultivar has a short harvesting period. Timing is important.
Direction and angle:
Ridge direction and shape:
Horizontally South to West.
About the climate
Surrounded by other farms. Almost no trees around, which makes that the farm receives abundant sunlight.
Surroundings and environmental circumstances:
Steep sloping surface, which makes harvest labor intensive, but has the benefit that water drainage is good. Since no fertilizer was used during the bush’s growth, the impact from the soil on the flavor is direct. The authentic aroma of this cultivar adds to the tea’s appeal.
About the tea cultivar species
Cultivar details - Gokō
This native cultivar has been growing in its present location high up in the mountains in Nara Prefecture, unmodified, for over half a century. It is distinguished by a gentle yet distinct sweetness on the palate.
Tea Industry Research Center of Kyoto Prefecture.
Derived from a native Uji cultivar. Registered in 1953.
A slightly late-grower. About 3 days behind Yabukita.
A Gyokuro cultivar with a distinctly volatile aroma. This cultivar is often used to produce prizewinning Gyokuro teas. The bush produces a faint green leaf that is rather smooth and free of wrinkles. Its branches spread well to all sides. Its yield is good and comparable to the yield of the Yabukita cultivar..
Its resistance is fairly strong against cold and diseases.
Suggested measurements for 1 portion.
Suggested no. of infusions: 
For the first brew I use 60℃ hot water for a steeping of 2 minutes and half.
For the 2nd brew I raise the temperature to 75℃ at 2 minutes.
This produces a slightly enhanced thickness of the sweetness with a pleasant freshness reminiscent of menthol along the sides of the tongue.
For the third, and successive brews I brew at 98℃ for one minute.
Surprisingly you will discover that the tea produces almost no expressive bitterness, remaining cloaked in a natural sweetness up to the 5th brew.
【Gyokuro】Tokuya’s Wild Gyokuro